Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has shared fresh seabed data with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) having completed surveys on the western edge of the Orkney mainland.

The surveys were carried out as part of SSEN’s proposal to upgrade Orkney’s connection to the main Great Britain transmission system.


SSEN has provided EMEC with updated bathymetry and side-scan sonar, which have been captured with high resolution 3D views of the seabed.

That is supplemented with sub-bottom profiling, which will let marine developers planning to test at EMEC better understand how deep the sand is to support mooring design and configurations.

EMEC contacted SSEN requesting access to the data to supplement their knowledge of the seabed at the former’s grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo.

SSEN project manager Peter Jordan said: “We recognise that Orkney is home to some of Europe’s greatest renewable resources and there is a clear need to provide a transmission reinforcement to allow Orkney to realise its vast renewable potential.”

EMEC operations and maintenance manager John Skuse added: “This information will allow developers to better optimise their device and mooring designs with the confidence that they will match the seabed conditions.”

Image: Billia Croo wave test site in Orkney (Aquatera)